Feral technocrats

A characteristic of the modern world seems to be the feral technocrat. These are people who often, but not necessarily have some kind of technical qualification, who sell themselves to the cause of modifying our behaviour from a platform of biased, misleading or otherwise untrue technical information – always lifestyle-related.

Bent statistics and fake charities seem to be the tools of choice. Manipulated percentages, dishonest conclusions from partial data or even simple lies in a statistical garb, it’s all grist to the mill.

Feral technocrats are key players forcing us to subsidise inefficient wind turbines and solar panels. They are behind the demonising of alcohol, red meat, sausages, bacon, salt, sugar, food colouring, animal fats, snack foods, fast food, carbon dioxide, ozone, warm weather, cold weather, wet weather, dry weather, cars and second-hand cigarette smoke. Unfortunately, all this lifestyle misinformation is crowding out an informed debate on more serious medical conditions still blighting too many lives.

For example, check out something important and seriously scary – brain tumours. There is no clear lifestyle issue with brain tumours, so it hasn’t become a one-sided political game played by the feral technocrats and their backers. Yet consider the current UK brain tumour situation as laid out in this e-petition.

  1. 65% more women die from a brain tumour than from cervical cancer.
  2. Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of UK children.
  3. 16,000 people each year in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour.
  4. More people under 40 die of a brain tumour than from any other cancer.
  5. Only 14% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond 5 years.
  6. 25% of all cancers spread to the brain.
  7. Every year there is a 4% increase in incidence.

I’m not advocating any particular policy change with respect to brain tumour research here. I’m merely using a very serious health issue to highlight how the games played by feral technocrats may result in large numbers of people being misinformed about more genuine health risks where maybe we could and should direct some more research funding.

Let’s note the first five points of the e-petition and ask ourselves why on earth our government finds it necessary to employ feral technocrats to demonize second-hand cigarette smoke when this is going on? People, including children, are dying in the real world out there – real lingering deaths not fake statistical artifacts. Courageous kids with big smiles and no hair because of the radiotherapy which isn’t likely to work anyway.

But the feral technocrats have been paid to demonize our lifestyle choices that do not meet with official approval so that is what they do. Sadly they even seem to believe in it. Forget unknown non-lifestyle issues like brain tumours. Forget facts, rational priorities and simple human fellow-feeling. There are political games to play and always there are feral technocrats willing to play. It’s one of the many prices we pay for voting in the Big Three.

11 comments for “Feral technocrats

  1. January 17, 2012 at 7:37 am

    I agree that we lack a publicly-communicated risk perspective, i.e. that we should be able to rank threats in terms of their seriousness, their likelihood in relation to our own situation, and the degree to which we can take action to reduce either aspect.

    Is there. perhaps, some organisation or site out there that is doing it already?

    • January 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Presumably the NSO could do it.

  2. mikebravo
    January 17, 2012 at 8:36 am

    The pharmaceutical industry that bribes politicians can’t make a load of money as they can not pretend to find a cure for brain tumours.
    The government can’t claim all the prestige and kudos for doing something useful so the whole issue is ignored in favour of a quick headline.
    Nothing to see here – look over there, someone smoking in their own car!

    • January 17, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      I agree – the pharmaceutical industry isn’t having much luck with brain tumours and can’t pretend otherwise.

  3. 1327
    January 17, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I sometimes worry these people have now got so far up the greasy poll it will be impossible to get rid of them. For instance a few years ago it was pointed out to me that my qualifications and experience mean I could be a chartered engineer. This might have some advantages career wise so I applied to the relevant institution and received a huge application pack in the post a few days later. This pack included a few back issues of the general members magazine a very nice glossy publication which I started to skim through. Every issue had to have a least two articles about bloody wind turbines and how wonderful they are with another about AGW in general. The majority of the articles appear aimed at what I would consider to be the level of an ‘O’ level student. Every recruitment poster for the Institute has to have pictures of a group of shiny happy students with a picture of a wind turbine in the back.

    When I read it the application form didn’t ask what technologies I used or how I designed things but instead asked how I measured the environmental impact and safety of what I design ! At which point I decided the lunatics were running the asylum and put the lot of it in the bin (and the recycling one to).

    • January 17, 2012 at 9:06 am

      That’s exactly right. That’s what’s happening. I’m getting this everyday and have a meeting with one of these honchos tomorrow, marinated in this PC guff. How will we even communicate?

      • 1327
        January 17, 2012 at 9:33 am

        James if you find a way of communicating with them let me know. In fact if you manage it you could make a fortune running training courses telling “real” people how you managed this.

        I have increasing dealings with this people and find that to a man (and woman) they don’t appear to listen to what you are saying. They have been given an objective from on high and no matter how stupid it may be they carry out that instruction no matter what the consequences are and refuse to listen to anyone warning them either. If you point out that their version of reality doesn’t exactly align with reality your cards are marked as a trouble maker.

        • David
          January 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm

          Infiltrate and take over. How do you think those bastards did it? Say what you need to get in and change the system from the inside.

    • January 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      When my employer began to turn in that direction, I left. I was lucky though – near enough retirement to walk out and make do. I know what it feels like though – that invitation to join the asylum.

  4. Andrew Duffin
    January 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    “Every year there is a 4% increase in incidence.”

    Hmm.

    Actually, every year we find ways of not dying from other things.

    Now, who was talking about dodgy statistics?

    • January 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Do you have a better figure? I don’t endorse the 4% claim, it’s just there for comparison with the more well-known headline stories we have to assess.

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